This storm will pass. But the choices we make now could change our lives for years to come, historian, philosopher and best selling author Yuval Noah Harari writes in the Financial Times.
In an article, the world famous Israeli author of‘ Sapiens’, ‘Homo Deus’ and ‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’ weighs in on the coronavirus pandemic, focusing particularly on the issue of individual rights as governments ratchet up efforts to stop the spread of the virus, as well at that of global cooperation.
“Humankind is now facing a global crisis. Perhaps the biggest crisis of our generation. The decisions people and governments take in the next few weeks will probably shape the world for years to come. They will shape not just our healthcare systems but also our economy, politics and culture. We must act quickly and decisively. We should also take into account the long-term consequences of our actions,” he writes.
In taking decisions, the world should ask not only how to overcome the immediate threat, but also what kind of world we will inhabit once the storm passes. “Yes, the storm will pass, humankind will survive, most of us will still be alive — but we will inhabit a different world,” he adds.
In this time of crisis, the world faces two particularly important choices. The first is between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment. The second is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity.
And he concludes: “Humanity needs to make a choice. Will we travel down the route of disunity, or will we adopt the path of global solidarity? If we choose disunity, this will not only prolong the crisis, but will probably result in even worse catastrophes in the future. If we choose global solidarity, it will be a victory not only against the coronavirus, but against all future epidemics and crises that might assail humankind in the 21st century.”
(Photo from Facebook page of Yuval Noah Harari)